Language Diversity in the Modern Society

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When I was younger, I wished to live in a world with a diverse range of languages. It was so, in my mind, because I was unfamiliar with it. I grew up in a small, isolated town where the majority of the residents were white and spoke only English. It never occurred to me how difficult it would be for Spanish-speaking families to survive in a country where English is the dominant language. Language issues can also lead to inequality in society. The aim of this paper is to discover how many languages exist in society. I was raised in Poolesville where there was very little ethnic variety. In elementary and middle school, the common language was English; this had both advantages and disadvantages. The drawback was that communication flew easy among the children of one ethnic identity. The disadvantage related to children unfamiliar with English, who seemed to be left behind.

Because of living in a homogeneous community, I have learnt how different people are only when I went to high school in Montgomery County. This situation gave me a craving to learn a language other than English. Under the global program, students from all over the county were selected to join the high school which gave me a common understanding of many different languages. I never realized how diverse Montgomery County was until I joined the high school. The way people dressed there charmed me but numerous languages spoken by kids were even more fascinating. My high school also had foreign language classes, which is common to most schools in the United States.

Spanish and French were the main foreign languages students could choose. Most students chose French because it was considered to be more substantial than Spanish. I took Spanish class because I had an earlier experience with it at my working place. I considered it to be more useful since I had not heard anyone speak French before. It was one of my most difficult classes, and I am glad I had gone through it and taken the classes seriously up to now.

At the age of fifteen, I began working at a restaurant where the Spanish language was mostly spoken in the kitchen. I wondered what living in a country where your native tongue is the secondary one was like. During my travel to the Dominican Republic this year, I got to know that Spanish is the only language familiar to the local people. Those who knew English were very few, so I was shocked. It led to a host of insights on how it felt to speak another language other than English in the United States of America.

Spanish is becoming more common among people in the United States; it is the second most widely spoken language of America. If you use Spanish at work, your salary is likely to be higher than the one of those unfamiliar with the language. More and more vacancies include fluent Spanish as one of the job requirements.

As Gloria Anzaldua (774) declares in Linguistic terrorism, “By the end of this century, Spanish speakers will comprise the biggest minority group in the United States.” Due to being raised in a white community with a low language diversity, Spanish was a foreign language to me. However, I was impressed with its beauty for a long time and always strived to learn it. This experience gave me a close look at how people having Spanish as a mother tongue had a difficult time in an English-speaking community.

According to Gloria Anzaldua, the way people speak demonstrates who they are. Ethnic language is a twin to linguistic identity. Language shapes both people and the environment they live in. Gloria calls this phenomenon a "linguistic terrorism" because it makes people shape what is acceptable and what is not, hence creating a hierarchy.

Conclusion

Even though we are all of different nationalities, that does not mean that one is more authentic than the other. We should support any languages and dialects used in our community. With the emergence of new ethnic identities, people should learn how to respect each other. Therefore, it is crucial for people living in a cosmopolitan society to understand that no language is superior to the others.

Works Cited

Anzaldúa, Gloria. "Linguistic terrorism." Tongue-tied: The lives of multilingual children in public education (2004): 270-271.

Bender, Margaret Clelland. Linguistic diversity in the South: changing codes, practices, and ideology. University of Georgia Press, 2004.

October 20, 2022
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